Indiana State to Offer Engineering Degrees

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Indiana State University's request to offer a Bachelor of Science in engineering was approved Thursday by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. The degree will provide three concentrations, including mechanical, civil and industrial engineering. 

Each concentration will have approximately 20 students, with the first freshman class starting in the fall of 2018.

"This new degree program was years in the making and the result of countless hours of research and preparation by our faculty and staff," said Dan Bradley, president of Indiana State. "We're pleased the ICHE has entrusted Indiana State to help answer the need for engineers in the state. This new program will provide practice-based experiences and create graduates who are ready to meet the needs of the industry."

Indiana State already offers an engineering technology program, which is designed to train field engineers or those who implement the plans created by an engineer.

"This program is one of the most impactful accomplishments the College of Technology has achieved in the past 30 years," said Bob English, dean of the college. "It's a game changer and will certainly make the engineering technology program even stronger."

With even first-year engineers making starting salaries averaging $50,000-$60,000, the demand is high and companies are looking for recruits with a background in multiple areas of the trade. 

"This new academic program will produce a ‘Jack-of-all-trades' engineer who is essential to our manufacturing, aviation and aerospace sectors, among other industries," said Mike Licari, provost of ISU. "There is a tremendous need in the industry for generalist engineers -- generalists who not only possess the technical fundamentals but also have expertise in broad areas such as problem-solving, entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration."

"A small- or medium-size firm often can't afford to hire four or five specialized engineers, so one generalist is a better fit," agreed English.

The state of Indiana is projected to add more engineering jobs in the next few years. 

  • Mechanical engineers are projected to have a state job growth of 15 percent. They are trained in machinery dynamics and heat transfer analysis.
  • Civil engineers are projected to have a state job growth of 7 percent. They have expertise in structural analysis, concrete design, wastewater and drinking water system design, transportation and traffic design and hydrology.
  • Industrial engineers are projected to have a state job growth of 7 percent. They focus more on the management side of manufacturing, including the liability of machinery and other human factors of industry and operations.

With the growth being so high, Indiana State and the College of Technology are working hard to train students and help meet the demand. 

"The College of Technology has doubled student enrollment and added six new programs in the past six years, while seeing great accomplishments in student success and retention," said English. "With this new engineering program, we are committed to continuing that trend while adding under-represented students and graduates in a much-needed and high-paying field."

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